Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Progress on the racial front? Income gap between black and white families grows

My mostly-white students tend to think that since the passage of civil rights legislation, racial problems in the US are "so over." My students are probably not out of synch with the rest of white America. Here's some troubling counter-evidence, from the Economic Mobility Project, funded by the Pew Charitable Trust. A few choice excerpts from the AP report:

Incomes have increased among both black and white families in the past three decades - mainly because more women are in the work force. But the increase was greater among whites, according to the study being released Tuesday.

One reason for the growing disparity: Incomes among black men have actually declined in the past three decades, when adjusted for inflation. They were offset only by gains among black women.

Incomes among white men, meanwhile, were relatively stagnant, while those of white women increased more than fivefold...

In 2004, a typical black family had an income that was only 58 percent of a typical white family's. In 1974, median black incomes were 63 percent those of whites.

"Too many Americans, whites and even some blacks, think that the playing field has indeed leveled," said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

It has not, he added.

(my italics)

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